As our mission winds down, our chances to  do hands on patient care dwindle. A few days ago, it appeared that we had a real chance to do  patient care while setting up an intermediate unit at the Haitian border funded in part by Pan American Health Organziation and faciliated by Dominican Health Ministry. A place to receive, stabilize and if needed transport patients to a higher level of care. But we found  in a disaster like this, there are many more things to consider than just the medical volunteers willing to do the job. We were hampered by arranging security for two women in a rural area, lodging, food, transportation and communication. We have both done medical missions before, so we have desprately felt the pull of wanting be ‘in the trenches’ while we have been here. However, we now have been asked to help design a modest ICU/intermediate care unit for the border so we are doing the bigger picture still. The Dominicans are receiving seriously ill  patients every day from Haiti. They care for there neighbors selflessly but they are a developing country as well. The distance from the border to larger care centers is 3-5 hours over rural roads. These border intermediate units could be very helpful.

The Fundamental Critical Care Course with elements of FDM and PFCCS was well received and another course is already being planned for another large group to help increase the knowledge of the workforce that will be caring for quake victims long into the future.

As we review the stories of the volunteers in Haiti on this website, amazing efforts such as Louisdon Pierre MD FAAP who posted his experience on our Jan 28 entry come to light. A Haitian born pediatric intensivist  and member of SCCM,practicing in Brooklyn, his team left for Haiti forty eight hours after the quake and hit the ground running. With already established ties to medical missions in Milot, they were able to affect change quickly and effectively. Dr Pierre is already planning to return and is consider using FCCS and PFCCS as part of his team’s mission.  Please see his post.

There are more stories out there of self sacrifice and deep caring for victims of all kinds.  There are many levels on which we can help. Giving our time, our comforts, our expertise, covering our colleaugues who are away, donating money or supplies or just keeping these people in our prayer and thoughts is a incredible gift.